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Easy Ways to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint In the Dorms

Being in college, especially in a dorm, makes it really hard to make environmentally friendly choices all the time. Money, time, and accessibility are all limiting factors. But there are some really simple things that can be done to help lower the amount of times you have to take out the trash and lower your environmental impact overall.

1. Stop using plastic waters

There are so many reasons why using a reusable water bottle is so much better than using disposable ones. Plastic bottled water is extremely bad for the environment and takes a really long time to degrade. Using reusable water bottles also saves so much money on water. Additionally, buying a water filter in college is a really smart investment, so you don’t have to drink tap water. Having a reusable water bottle is also really handy to take to class and there are a lot of really cute water bottle options like Swell and Hydroflask.

2. Use reusable bags at the grocery store

Plastic grocery bags are another source of trash that can easily be eliminated. Bringing reusable grocery bags everytime you shop is a simple way to produce less plastic waste and is also a way easier way to carry more groceries. Reusable grocery bags are usually larger and more durable, making carrying groceries more efficient and less wasteful!

3. Buy local foods/ Less packaged foods

Buying local foods has so many benefits. Less waste is produced to transport them and package them, and they are usually healthier! You get to support local businesses, help the environment, and you body all at the same time.

4. Recycle!

This one takes a little bit of effort but it is definitely worth it. Every dorm has recycling bins in the trash room and most trash cans around campus have recycling and compost bins near as well. Keeping a recycling bin and trash bin in your dorm would significantly reduce the amount of times your trash can gets full. But even just remembering to use the recycling bins and compost bins around campus would make a huge difference in JMU’s waste production.


5. Use lights sparingly

This one is definitely the easiest. It takes only a second to remember to turn off the lights when you are on the way out of your room and so much energy would be saved.


Erin Janiga is a freshman at James Madison University.
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